(Johannesburg 30 November 2017) A career choice in science, is a tough decision for most, but for four bright South African minds, the decision to pursue a career in the field of medical science, particularly one involving research into future treatments for life threatening diseases, was an exciting and inspiring one.
Capetonian Nadine Lee, whose parents encouraged her to question everything and to take a logical thought process to each question, found herself fascinated in the way the human body works, and chose to study genetics.
“DNA is the foundation of life, and diseases can be traced back to their genetic origin. I believe to truly understand health and disease, it is best to look at mutations at the core (DNA),” states Nadine.
Nadine’s fascination in human health and advancements in medicine to improve health services led her to complete a BSc (Human Life Sciences) degree at Stellenbosch University, a BSc (Hons) (Genetics) and then a M.Sc. in Genetics.
She joined the family stem cell bank, CryoSave South Africa as a representative in Cape Town. Through her daily interactions with doctors, midwives, and nurses she assists in the continued education of healthcare professionals and spreading news about the advancements in stem cell therapies. Additionally, she passes on knowledge to prospective parents, enabling them to make informed choices about stem cell storage.
Twenty-four-year-old Rene Stanley who matriculated at Pretoria’s Willowridge High School, completed an honours degree BSc in Human Cell Biology, and is adding a Master’s degree in Human Cell Biology at the University of Pretoria (UP).
Rene immersed herself into the laboratory world as an intern for a year at the National Research Foundation, and is currently a part-time teaching assistant and laboratory demonstrator at UP. Before that, she completed an undergraduate mentorship program at UP and worked as an administrator at a pathology laboratory.
She joined CryoSave as a Cord Blood Specialist at the company’s InfoHub where she remains close to the world-class AABB-accredited laboratory operations, and where she can advise parents on stem cell storage options. “There is no public cord blood stem cell bank in Africa. Private storage is the only option for parents who want to invest in the future of healthcare. Being able to do it with Europe’s leading stem cell banks, through a local world class laboratory is an added bonus that all parents should consider.”
Another Pretorian Maggie Holm, matriculated from Voortrekker High School and has recently completed her BSc in Human Physiology, Genetics and Psychology at the University of Pretoria.
Maggie has a young baby and following her own mothering instincts to protect her child, took the path to immerse herself in stem cell education at CryoSave. Now she imparts this knowledge about the benefits of stem cells to other parents. Additionally, she is responsible for providing gynaecologists, midwives and other healthcare professionals with up-to-date information about stem cell therapies and the process and benefits of storing a baby’s cord blood and tissue so that they can give the necessary information to their patients.
“Parents often don’t know how important the decision to store stem cells is. Yet, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity that could save their child’s life and made affordable through interest-free payment options. It is one of those parenting choices that must be made based on credible information,” adds Maggie.
Georgina Gounden hails from KZN. While completing a BSc Medical Sciences degree at the University of KZN, she hosted child welfare events for her local community, and worked part-time in events and administrative positions before landing a position in the medical field at CryoSave. Based in KZN, Georgina is passionate about the field of stem cell research and says, “the body has unique abilities to heal itself and science is fast developing to create new opportunities. I’m particularly excited about the developments in the fields of cerebral palsy and autism spectrum disorder. Both conditions have a tremendous impact on the financial and other resources of families. Stem cells have the potential to save lives, but also to improve the quality of life for these families”.
These young science graduates’ advice to school-going learners who wish to forge a career in stem cell therapy is simple – take mathematics and physical science, because “these subjects encourage logical thought processes. Biology too provides a sound knowledge base, but always do that little bit of research, more than what is given in your text books. It will benefit you in the long run, as this is a highly competitive field”, concludes the group.
CryoSave puts an emphasis on educating potential parents and helping them make well-informed decisions for their families. To find out more information visit their Facebook page CryoSave South Africa, website www.cryo-save.co.za, contact their information hub 087 8080 170 or email info@CryoSave.co.za.